Using Barley Straw to control weed and pond algae

Martyn and George spent a hot day this week making barley straw 'sausages' to sink into The Break Pool and Robins Mill Pond.

This is a traditional method of managing pond weed and algae; the theory being that as soon as the straw is placed into the water it starts to rot and produces mild hydrogen peroxide (all quite natural we assure you) and this reduces the algal and weed growth. In the next couple of weeks, the sausages will become saturated with water and will sink beneath the surface of the pond, so that they do not present an eyesore.

Unfortunately, the process is very much a 'trial and error' method and we may need to top up the straw in a few months time - in the meantime, it should improve the oxygen levels in the pond for any fish and invertebrates and we have scooped out the worst of an algal bloom in a specially designed net.

Our thanks to Kingcombe Aquacare for their expertise, nets and the use of their special sausage making machine. Martyn is looking forward to having a go at making his own 'replica' model!